March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!

March is colorectal cancer awareness month and is a good time to brush up colorectal cancer screening recommendations. Below are guidelines regarding colorectal cancer screening:

United States Preventitive Services Task Force (USPSTF)

  • Recommends screening for colorectal cancer using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy in adults, beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years (Grade A)
  • Recommends against routine screening for colorectal cancer in adults 76 to 85 years of age. There may be considerations that support colorectal cancer screening in an individual patient (Grade C)
  • The USPSTF recommends against screening for colorectal cancer in adults older than age 85 years (Grade D)

American Gastroenterological Association (for patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)

  • Colonoscopic surveillance should begin after eight years in patients with pancolitis, and 15 years in patients with colitis involving the left colon
  • Colonoscopy should be repeated every one to two years

*Thanks to Dr. Feagins from UTSW GI/Liver Division for the references.